Democrats are whistling past the graveyard.
“This is nothing,” they insist, even as they call for FBI director James Comey’s scalp for reigniting the Hillary Clinton e-mail scandal. The problem is that the polls were tightening even before Comey’s Friday announcement. What was a 6-point race in the Real Clear Politics average nationally only a few days ago is now a 2-point race.
And while Hillary still seems to have enough states locked down to win the Electoral College, what looked like a landslide a week ago is right now a potentially comfortable margin that may get narrower and less comfortable by the day.
While most poll respondents say the e-mail business isn’t affecting their potential vote, “most” ain’t “all.” One in 10 say it may.
Introducing a 10-percent note of uncertainty into a race not yet put away isn’t nothing. It’s something. It’s quite a lot of something.
And let’s not forget that Republicans disheartened by Donald Trump suddenly have a new negative lease on life — a new reminder that if they turn out next Tuesday rather than staying home, they might play a role in preventing a third Clinton term.
Some, like The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent, have floated the notion that Comey’s supposedly outrageous conduct may energize Democrats. That sure sounds a lot less like logic and a lot more like graveyard whistling.
Instead, the data suggest growing Democratic listlessness and burgeoning Republican enthusiasm as the election approaches. That said, none of this means Hillary’s candidacy is in the grave; far from it. If you could choose, you would choose to be Hillary right now, not Trump.